Thursday, May 29, 2008

High Pointers.

For the past five and a half years, I have been a high pointer. A high pointer is a person that hikes all 50 states' highest points. Then there are global high pointers who attempt to hike as many of the countries' highest points in the world.

Here is a brief description of where I've been thus far:

Sassafras Mountain, South Carolina - Located past a camp for the blind, it could be one of the easiest high points to get to. You don't have to hike - you park...and walk a few feet. There's no amenities here (or at least there weren't any Nov. 2002). There is a geo marker, however, indicating that you're in the right spot. Be prepared to smell burning brake fluid on the way down. Don't ride your brakes, or they'll overheat.

Brasstown Bald, Georgia - You can pay a couple of bucks and take a shuttle to the top, or you can hike the trail. I would consider the trail moderately strenuous. You have to be in, at least, decent shape to walk the (paved) trail.

Mount Davis, Pennsylvania - Mount Davis is also another easy high point. You drive down a long country road to get to it, park, and walk to the spot. There is a tall observatory tower at the site as well that was least in Nov. 2002.

Spruce Knob, West Virginia - Spruce Knob is drive up and walk as well though the geo marker is a little difficult to the we tried. There is an observatory type building on the site as well. One side up the mountain is hairpin turns, and then the other side isn't. The other side (not hairpin turn road) is more scenic.

Hoye-Crest/Backbone Mountain, Maryland - This is a fairly moderately strenuous hike as well. We hiked in the snow in November 2002 for this. There is a marker on the top of the site and a geo marker. Also at the top is/was a box that had printed out "I hiked the high point" certificates someone had placed in there for others to fill out and take.

Mount Rogers, Virginia - Mount Rogers is one of the most interesting hikes. The terrain goes from flat to rocky to prairie to pine forest. There are also the Wilburn Ridge Wild Ponies if you hike from Grayson Highlands (the easiest access point). This is one of my favorite East Coast hiking areas that goes through Jefferson National Park.

High Point, New Jersey - High Point State Park is closing to the public July 1, 2008 so we got our trip in before this time. There is a beautiful obelisk on the top of the mountain, but that will be closed off as well due to budget cuts. You can see NY, NJ, and PA from the top of the mountain. It's a shame the budget cuts have to come as there won't be any people to enjoy this beautiful park.

Upcoming high points:

Mount Mitchell, North Carolina
Cheaha Mountain, Alabama
Clingmans Dome, Tennessee

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